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Ailefroide Trip 2013 (Ecrins National Park)

Joe - I have a print out of the travel details here. If you change plans, let someone know by text.

Here's the run down. I've put some stuff in but complete and update it to your heart's content!


  • Joe H
  • Andrena B
  • Bethan G
  • Doug H
  • Becky Howard
  • Eleri C
  • Dave M
  • Greg C
  • Tom H (hopefully!)
  • Hannah S (hopefully)


  • Campsite in Ailefroide, Ecrins National Park, France
  • €6.50 pppn


  • Ailefroide is a bit difficult to get to, but I'm reliably informed that it's worth it! Most people approach via Grenoble and Briancon.
  • Bus Grenoble to Briancon info at
  • Local buses for Briancon to Ailefroide at (I think - my French leaves something to be desired!).
  • There's some stuff about buses from Turin too.

Put your plans down here:

  • JH,AB,BH,BG,DH driving from Cambridge to arrive evening of 26th July and leaving morning of 10th August. Can take tents/heavy kit for others.

  • DM - fly/bus to paris depending on time and catch train to l'Argentiere-la-Besse, would appreciate a lift from there! Will try to coordinate arrive at same time as EC. I will probably be limited on transporting stuff, so would like to stick some heavy stuff with the car. [Revision] I have dates now, arriving afternoon of the 30th, returning on the 7th August. Will be travelling from the UK on the Eurolines buses again:/

  • TH - will be out in the alps already (from the beginning of July until the end of September), and will be based in Les Vigneaux (just down the road from Ailefroide). However, I can't guarantee that I'll necessarily be in the vicinity when you are. We'll see - just depends on the weather elsewhere in the alps. I might be able to lend guidebooks, either when in the UK, or abroad. In other words... treat me as an independant extra for whom no consideration is needed in planning.

  • HS- I may also be in the alps- depending on timing of another trip, and will most likely not be there for the whole two weeks you are planning to go for. I will discuss dates this thurs.

  • GC - Taking the eurostar to Grenoble, then train, getting off at l'Argentiere-la-Besse. Arriving there Sat (27th July) evening at 19:45, from the 16:10 train from Grenoble. Heading back on the sleeper from Briancon the following Sunday (4th Aug) evening

  • EC - I will be coming up from Geneva on either the 28th or the 29th, depending on when suits best for the others. I also plan to get the train from Grenoble to Argentiere-les-Ecrins (which seems to be the name of the station of Argentiere-la-Besse). If I come on Sunday, it will get me in around 5:40, if on Monday, then about 6:30. From there a lift will be greatly appreciated...

Camping stuff

  • JH,AB have one tent between them. Also will bring big two ring stove for campsite use.
  • BG has 2/3 man tent
  • DH will also bring set of two normal size pans and pocket rocket for campsite and bivvying
  • DH will bring one (or maybe two, or maybe more) gnome stools
  • (Just putting this while I remember) Someone should bring wind shields for the stoves...? Does anyone have any?
  • BH has a two man tent
  • DM has a two man tent. Also, a small stove.

Mountaineering Kit

Amount we needs depends on what people want to do and so on.

  • Ropes
    • 35m single rope JH, BH
    • 50m single rope AB,JH
    • 2x50m half ropes DM
  • Gear

    • JH,AB have small rack between them sufficient for alpine routes and valley climbing.
    • DH has set of nuts 1-11, two large hexes, 2 x 240 slings, 2 x 120 slings (+1 personal), 1 x screwgate (+ 2 personal), 1 x 19cm ice screw.
    • BG has 7 quickdraws + 3 slingdraws, 1 x 22cm ice screw
    • BH has a set of hexes, 5 quickdraws and various krabs
    • DM has set of hexes, nuts and offsets. only 7 draws. Various krabs and slings.
  • Personal Gear

    • Probably harness, helmet, belay plate + karabiner, few screwgate karabiners and slings, prussiks. Has JH got the ice axe left in Fitzwilliam Plodge for BG?
  • Bivi stuff
    • JH,AB will be taking bivi stuff. It's a good way to avoid expensive and overcrowded huts!
    • DH will also take 'bivi stuff' (survival bag + 2 season sleeping bag)
    • BG has bivi bag
    • DM will be taking bivi kit.
    • GC will probably take bivi stuff (pending me actually buying a bag)

Guide Books

  • Ecrins Massif, Alpine Club Guide Books
  • DH also intends to buy above guide book
  • We may wish to get a guide for the valley climbing too (some is covered in the above guide but not much detail so depends how much climbing people want to do)
  • TH - the most useful guidebook to have in combination with Brailsford would be 'Oisans Nouveau Oisans Sauvage - Livre Est.' It's got all the valley rock routes in as well as mountain rock routes (no snow/ice/mixed stuff though), is recent, and thus up to date with both routes and changed lines.


  • Ailefroide has spar, even has it's own website:, looks like it's got good hours in season. May be expensive though.
  • Worth bulk buying a bunch of stuff in the UK and taking it out there (pasta/rice/cous cous/malt loaf)? Guess it depends how worried we are about car space

Other Stuff

  • Insurance - rescue in the alps could be expensive!
  • Huts - some club memberships such as Austrian Alpine Club gives a discount if you intend to use huts. You can also get a reciprocal rights card from the BMC.